Growth prospects, the natural interest rate, and monetary policy

In-Depth Analysis prepared for the Monetary Dialogue of the European Parliament, November

The recovery from the Global Financial Crisis was characterized by sluggish output growth and by inflation remaining persistently below the inflation targets of central banks in many advanced economies despite an unprecedented monetary expansion. Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis, GDP remains below its pre-crisis trend in many economies and interest rates continue to be very low worldwide. This raises the question of whether low GDP growth and low interest rates are a temporary phenomenon or are due to a decline in long-run growth prospects (potential output growth) and equilibrium real interest rates (natural interest rate). In this paper, we address this for central banks very important question and discuss implications for monetary policy.